Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rocky, a toy poodle

This dog's people did get a trap and set it up, but they also laid out a sweater of the owner's in another nearby location, on the advice of a rescue person. When they went to check the trap which was baited with food, the dog hadn't been there, but he was lying on the sweater.

Little dog lost, then found using unique tactic
By Olivia Damavandi / Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 8:56 PM PDT
Rocky, a toy poodle, was lost for three days in the mountains. His owners found him by placing a sweater with their scent on it on a trail near where he went missing.

Tony Alti and son Michael had lost their little dog, but then Michael, following the advice of an animal rescue agency, used a unique tactic to find the toy poodle, which survived three days in the mountains.

After a relentless two and a half day search, Tony Alti, owner of Colony House Liquors, and his son, Michael, were shocked to discover that their four-year-old white toy poodle, Rocky, had survived three frigid nights and the jaws of predation in the Santa Monica Mountains last month.

"I don't know how he did it," Tony said in a telephone interview. "This is a dog who's used to eating at Gelson's and drinking Fiji water.

"After three nights of cold, mountain lions, rattlesnakes and coyotes, I said, 'Even a man can't survive,'" he continued. "And don't forget he's a white poodle, it's difficult for him to stay camouflaged."

With dusk approaching and two miles left of their 11-mile hike along the Backbone Trail one Saturday last month, Michael asked his friend, Ray, to hold Rocky while he hurried to get their car. But, wanting to follow Michael, Rocky jumped from Ray's arms and dashed quickly out of sight.

That night, a team of family, friends and their dogs helped search for Rocky until midnight. With no sign of the toy poodle, Michael and Tony started the five-hour hike again at 1 a.m., seeing only two rattlesnakes and hearing the howls of coyotes. Tony despaired of finding the little dog.

"We hiked 13 miles Saturday night, from 11:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.," Tony said. "I had two special jackets for hiking and I was cold so I thought, 'How can Rocky do it?'"

A glimmer of hope surfaced early the next morning when Michael, while standing on the edge of a small hill, spotted Rocky 50 feet below him. Though the dog ran out of sight again, the knowledge he was still alive added fuel to the search. But by the end of the day, people began to give up.

"Local rangers of the Santa Monica Mountains recreation area refused to help search for a lost dog, and a cop [who] pulled by at the time said, 'We have murderers, mountain lions, bobcats and coyotes in this area, just give it up,'" Michael said in a telephone interview. But the father and son persevered in their search.

"You have to follow your gut and tune out the negative comments that are unproductive and useless," Michael said.

After searching all morning and afternoon on the third day after losing the dog, Michael set up a humane trap with chicken bait along the trail in the evening where they had hiked the Saturday before. He also decided to follow the advice of a rescue agency and leave his sweater in a little opening between some bushes, with the hope that the scent would draw the dog.

"I went to check on the trap and monitor the site again [the next morning], and there he was, lying on my sweater looking straight at me," Michael said. "I didn't want to scare him so I got on my knees, but he ran up and licked my face.

"Dogs like your smell, they're comfortable with that," he said, adding that the same rescue tactic had helped his friend find his dog a few months ago.

In spite of more than 35 tick bites, Rocky was physically healthy at the time of his rescue, Michael said. The dog is, however, now afraid to be by himself, especially in the dark.

"He's physically attached and won't leave your side," Tony said. "He's better, but I guess it's going to take some time for him to get back to normal, if he ever does. Three nights in this cold darkness is scary for anybody."

After hiking 55 miles in two and a half days, Michael said the experience has taught him to follow his instincts, and to "never give up and keep trying, no matter how bad a situation looks."

Following the publication of this article, this update was posted to the comments by Michael Alti on May 20, 2009 1:53 PM:

" Rocky's rescue was thanks to a large group effort: both on and off the trail. Above all, many thanks go to Hala Alti and my wonderful girlfriend Susan. Hala was actually the one who set up the humane trap and came up with the idea of leaving out our clothing. Hala followed her intuition and refused to give up. She was amazing during the ordeal. I greatly admire Hala's love of and devotion to animals. Susan was extremely dedicated and supportive. She joined my dad and me on our 11-mile hike in the dark that first night, stayed up 24 straight hours assisting the search, did not sleep, encouraged my family to remain positive, and missed spending Easter with her family. The readers should also know that Rocky has fully recovered and is 100% back to his normal loving and happy self! "


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Friday, May 29, 2009

Emmy, a Jack Russell Terrier

It's more common than you might think for dogs to go missing because they were not secured by a seat belt when an auto accident occurred. If people use seat belts, why not dogs? For all the same reasons, they should. But enough about that . . . Repeat after me: Craigslist Craigslist Craigslist. Use Craigslist whether you've found a pet or lost one. That's what brought about this reunion. Enjoy the story.

After the crash, a family is reunited
--Tony Perry
May 24, 2008

Emmy is back with her family in San Diego. The 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier was ejected from her owners' car as it crashed and rolled off Interstate 15 early Thursday. MaryBeth Zmuda and her husband, Timon Martin, were not injured but soon became frantic when they couldn't find Emmy.

They searched, they called. Finally they placed an ad, with Emmy's picture, on Craigslist and called KUSI-TV. Complicating matters, the couple has just moved to San Diego and not had time to get tags for Emmy.

A woman recognized Emmy as the dog she had spotted about three miles from the crash site and had called county Animal Services to report. Calls were made, and pet and people were reunited Friday.

"It's really beyond belief, it's heaven," said Zmuda.

Before they took Emmy home from the Animal Services shelter in Carlsbad, Zmuda and Martin got some insurance against her being lost again: a microchip implanted in her skin. If she ever shows up at a shelter, workers can use a scanner to read her address and phone number.
Photo: Zmuda/Martin family album

Another version of the same story, at:
Dog and Owners Separated in Crash Reunited
May 23, 2008

A dog that was ejected from a car as it crashed and rolled off Interstate 15 on Thursday was reunited with its owners today at the County’s animal shelter in Carlsbad.

The dog, an 11-year-old Jack Russell named Emmy, made her way to a back yard in Carmel Mountain Ranch – about three miles from the crash site. County Animal Services picked up the dog this morning. Emmy had no tags or microchip. Animal Services had a tough time catching her because she was scared.

“It was really frightened, poor little thing,” said Laurie Joniaux, deputy director of the County’s Animal Services Department. Afterwards, the woman recognized the dog’s picture on the Internet classified site Craigslist – where Emmy’s owners posted her photo.

On Thursday, Emmy’s owners, MaryBeth Zmuda and her husband Timon Martin of Clairemont, were heading south on Interstate 15 when Zmuda lost control of their Toyota Matrix. The car careened off the freeway and into the embankment, rolling over. The couple was safe. But Emmy was missing.

“I was frantic,” Zmuda said. “I knew she wasn’t in the car. My husband went looking for her. Bystanders along the side of the road were looking for her. “

The couple was taken to the hospital and released after being treated for minor injuries. Later, Zmuda and Martin contacted KUSI with their story, and posted Emmy’s picture on Craiglist.
The woman who found Emmy happened to check Craigslist for postings of lost dogs and recognized Emmy’s photo. The woman called Zmuda and the couple went to the Carlsbad shelter to find Emmy.

“It was heaven,” Zmuda said of their reunion. “It sounds cheesy, but it really was. It was very distressing to think I might never see her again. “

Thursday, May 28, 2009


If only everyone with a lost dog could have such coincidences occur. This family was lucky that the dog's "new" family were willing to give him up; not that they shouldn't but a lot of families wouldn't. But think about it -- it sounds like this dog was living just a few blocks away for all that time. Enjoy the story.

EMT finds her lost dog on run scene
By John Hultgren, Kentucky EMS Connection

MARION — A family dog missing for a year is now back at home after being found living with a patient.
Crittenden County EMS paramedic Richard Turner told us the story that began last Saturday night, Mar. 30.

Turner and his partner, Dana Doom, were working a 24-hour shift when they were dispatched at midnight on a 911 call for chest pain no more than three blocks away.

While Turner was assessing and treating the patient he recalls noticing a "little dog that was very friendly." After transporting the patient to the hospital, "Dana walked up to me and said that the dog we saw was her dog Tabby. She just knew it."

Doom asked the patient's wife where they had gotten the dog, and the wife told them they had gotten the dog from a man in the country.

On Monday Doom's husband went to the patient's house with pictures of their Tabby. The dog responded to its old name, and when Doom's husband told the family their dog had a birthmark on it's belly, the family "turned the dog over and, sure enough, there was the birth mark," Turner said.

After seeing the birthmark, the patient's family was convinced and returned the dog to the Dooms.

"So the Doom family -- Mom, Dad, and their little girl -- are tickled pink," Turner said. "I saw the little girl with the dog Wednesday and she was happy beyond belief."


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chance, a yellow lab

This lost dog was found because he was able to smell his way to the family car -- even though the car was displaced after a tornado. Now that's a good sniffer on that dog! Enjoy the story.

June 9, 2008
Dog found 9 days after Parkersburg twister

By Juan Perez Jr, Des Moines Register

Parkersburg, Ia. - There's a story people tell in Parkersburg about a dog and its family.

It's a story that has become an Internet sensation and one that stands out among Parkersburg's stories of survival and loss. It's a story that circles around a frisky yellow Labrador named Chance, a fitting title for a dog who was lost after last month's tornado, but sniffed his way to their car nine days later.

Chance, undoubtedly a very lucky pooch, is staying with Parkersburg veterinarian Russ Stickley until his owners, Pam and Dan Bleeker, get back on their feet. The Bleekers were hit hard by the May 25 tornado, losing Dan's mother and their house. Both their dogs disappeared, too, but Chance turned up nine days later.

He belongs to Dan and Pam Bleeker of Parkersburg. Dan, originally from New Hartford, married Pam in 2002 and moved into her modest, tan-colored house on Iowa Highway 57. Their lives changed after an EF5 tornado destroyed their house and hundreds of others.

Their losses weren't only material ones: Dan's 71-year-old mother, Leasa, died in her New Hartford home during the storm. As the couple try to stitch their lives back together, Chance has become a bright yellow spot in a grim story.

"It's nice to see a little bit of life come back, you know?" Pam said. Dan crouches near Pam on her parents' front porch as he helps recall the story.

They ran for the house once they saw the massive wall cloud that birthed one of Iowa's deadliest tornadoes.

Pam took Andrew, the couple's 5-year-old grandson, straight to the basement. Dan stayed in the garage and tried to coax Chance and Buddy, the family's Rottweiler mix, inside. Neither dog budged. Dan had to leave them and barely got downstairs in time.

The family emerged after the twister to a changed world. In the chaos, the couple didn't immediately realize Chance and Buddy were missing. "I wasn't even thinking about the dogs," Dan said. Flying debris had cut Pam's foot badly and forced her to seek medical attention.

Dan wandered around Parkersburg in a daze, stopping to help anyone he could. Pam got the worst news while she was headed for the hospital: Her sister called to say Dan's mother had been killed. The couple eventually moved into Pam's parents' intact Parkersburg home and tried to get their lives back together.

Pam did what she could despite a cumbersome protective boot on her injured foot. Dan assisted with Parkersburg's cleanup efforts by helping cap the dozens of damaged gas lines.

Then the Bleekers' insurance company called Pam on Tuesday afternoon to say a salvage worker had found a yellow dog in one of the Bleekers' vehicles. The remnants of the family's vehicles were in a group of ruined cars lined up near Parkersburg's fire station. Pam called Dan, who hitched a ride from work to the fire station to investigate.

Sure enough, he found Chance seated quietly behind the wheel of Pam's white Pontiac Bonneville. The dog wasn't "having anything to do with anybody," Dan said, until he called the dog's name.The yellow Lab saw his best friend and went crazy.

"He jumped out of the car, and he was all over him, just all over him," Pam said. Chance was fine, except for a couple of sores on his face. He'd lost 12 pounds during the nine-day ordeal, "but he needed that," Pam said.

Nobody knows the details of Chance's adventure, such as how he survived and found Pam's car hundreds of feet away from the remnants of his home.

"We don't know if (the dogs) got taken away by the tornado, or if everything came crashing on them and they took off, or what," Pam said. Russ Stickley, the veterinarian at Parkersburg Veterinary Service, where Chance is now staying, is pretty sure he saw Chance running near the totaled vehicles a week after the storm.

Stickley said some people tried to catch him, but Chance would have none of it.Two weeks after the tornado, Parkersburg is gradually rebuilding.Buddy, the Bleekers' second dog, is still missing. Pam's phone rings every now and then with a call from someone who might have seen or found the dog.The Bleekers continue to hope the second dog will come home.Having one of the dogs back, however, has helped the couple as they work to start over.

"We've lost a lot in the past year," Dan said. "You just gotta keep rollin' on. Nothing more you can do."

Source: Des Moines Register

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alex, a dalmatian

Dog Rescued After Four Days in Storm Drain
Two Days of Digging Pay Off for Alex, the Dalmatian
Reporter: Bill Murray
Aug 19, 2007

SUNDAY AFTERNOON STORY (original) Sunday afternoon emergency crews in Genoa, Wayne County got an unusual call for help. Larry Thompson told first responders that his dog, Alex was trapped 15 feet underground in an old storm drain. He had been missing since Friday. Family members started hearing sounds of a dog whimpering coming from the storm drain Sunday morning. The drain pipe is in their driveway and is more than 30 years old. As of 2:30 Sunday afternoon, the dog is still stuck. Family members say Larry has crawled down in the hole to comfort his dog and try to help with the rescue. SWAZI has a crew on the scene and will update this story as details come in.
SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Sunday afternoon the search was called off for a Dalmatian trapped 20 feet underground in a storm drain in Wayne County. Sunday evening family members decided to keep digging. They say they have spent Sunday evening talking to Alex and praying for him.

Earlier Sunday, Larry Thompson tried to rescue his Dalmatian named Alex. He says the dog climbed down into a storm drain to cool off. The dog got stuck and efforts to rescue him became dangerous. At one point Larry crawled down into the storm drain to try to help free his dog but a wall of dirt started falling in on him. Larry climbed out and had to leave his family pet behind. A friend with a backhoe helped dig Sunday afternoon. The family has called for an excavation crew to come in Monday morning and resume the search for Alex. As of 10 Sunday night the family says they can still hear Alex but have not been able to do any more digging. Rescue efforts will continue Monday morning.

Triumph over tragedy in Wayne County Monday afternoon. After days of digging, a family found their buried dog alive. Larry Thompson first noticed his 14 year old dalmatian was missing on Thursday night. Over the weekend, he heard noises and realized the dog, Alex, had fallen in a storm drain. Family, friends and a back hoe, that dug another hole 30 feet deep helped in a rescue fueled by hope.

Larry Thompson says, "A lot of people wouldn't give it a time of day or even attempt to get the animal out. I wanted to get him out alive or dead, either one. The effort was worth it both ways."

After four days underground, Alex was rushed to a vet in Huntington to be checked out.

The Thompson family is grateful for all the messages of support, received from around the region, on Alex's rescue.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

SaI, a shaggy dog

Another microchip story, and there are never too many of them. Here's a case where there person moved after having lost her dog and she actually remembered to update the contact information with the microchip registry. But she still didn't believe it when a shelter called to tell her they had her dog -- it was so long after the disappearance. And to think that all the dog did initially was run after a cat! Enjoy the story.

Lost dog reunited with owner 14 months after taking off after cat, CA
The Sentinal, By Isaiah Guzman – Sentinel correspondent
October 17, 2008

More than a year had passed since Cheryl Chaudhary’s dog Sai took off after a cat in Watsonville and never came back.

It was a traumatic experience, Chaudhary said, like losing a child. She had, after all, helped birth the Jack Russell terrier herself.

Chaudhary looked for months, blanketed the town with fliers, gotten handfuls of false leads and eventually stopped the hunt.

Last Friday, however, thanks to a microchip the size of a grain of rice, Chaudhary and Sai were brought back together in the kind of reunion even the most seasoned animal services workers don’t get sick of.

“She honestly didn’t believe us when we called and it wasn’t until she came into the shelter on Friday that she believed us,” Tricia Geisreiter of Santa Cruz County Animal Services said. “She saw the dog, burst into tears, collapsed on the floor and the dog started whining.”

Animal control officers caught Sai after setting up humane dog traps off of Atkinson Lane in Watsonville. They had been alerted by citizens that two dogs had been seen loose in the area together, one friendly, one aggressive. The friendly one turned out to be Sai.

The dogs were taken to the shelter and scanned for microchips. Sai’s information came up and Chaudhary, who has since moved from Watsonville to Capitola, was contacted.

“I was having dreams of him and I hadn’t dreamt of him in a really long time,”

Chaudhary said. “Like two nights before (I got him back), I could hear him crying. And I’m not a religious person, but I prayed I’d get him back. I honestly believe that I was hearing him wherever he was.” Sai hasn’t been the same, Chaudhary said, but owner and dog are adjusting. He still jumps up on the bed to sleep with her, but barks less than he used to and does a lot more laying around.

“He’s just really quiet but I take him to his favorite beach twice a week and he cheers up,” she said. “He was loose on the greenbelt in Watsonville. Who knows what happened to him.”

Because of the microchip, Chaudhary said she never gave up hope. And that’s the only reason she got Sai back, said Geisreiter. Sai had a collar but no tags when he was found. The device costs $15 including a registration fee and is easily injected under the skin with a syringe.

“A lot of people question us, ‘Do you really scan every animal that comes in?’” Geisreiter said. “And the answer is yes we do.”

Said Chaudhary: “I never truly gave up hope 100 percent because of the microchip.”


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leo, a border collie

This dog, like so many before him, was recovered by way of a combination of fliers that alerted his spotters to who the stray dog belonged with, and a humane trap. What was new to me about this story was that a trap was provided be (rented from) a pest control company. I think in terms of reaching out to animal shelters and rescue groups to borrow traps, and I can also recommend an awesome trapper in Pennsylvania who is in business to help people find lost dogs. This company uses traps the size that was needed for Leo to trap cougars in the area! Enjoy the story.

Leo the wandering Border Collie reunited with Portland couple
by Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian
Thursday April 16, 2009, 5:13 PM

Nine months and $2,000 after he disappeared in the wilds of southern Oregon, Leo the Border Collie is heading home to Northeast Portland.

Leo at the beach, before his ordeal.

He may appear a bit wolflike now, shaggy and a wild look in the eye. But he was a well-groomed 2-year-old herding dog last Fourth of July weekend, when Jason McNichols, 30, and fiance Marisa Davis, 29, left him with friends while they rafted for an hour on the Rogue River in southern Oregon.

Agility-course trained and keen at playing Frisbee, Leo had never before given the couple a reason to worry. But on that summer afternoon, he suddenly bolted when a friend pulled up to the Graves Creek boat landing to await McNichols and Davis.

"We were heartbroken," said McNichols. The pair posted lost-dog fliers in Galice, the closest hamlet, six miles upriver, and in other towns to the north, where they were camped. Given Leo's distinctive brown, white and black coloring, they figured it wouldn't be long before someone spotted the 50-pound pup. But despite days spent hiking the area during her summer break from teaching at a Beaverton middle school, Davis couldn't find Leo.

After no news for the next eight months, there came Nanette Martin's phone call in early April.

On a break during a motorcycle ride through Galice, Martin spotted one of the Leo fliers. She recognized him at once as a stray that appeared now and then on her property 25 miles south of Galice in Wilderville.

"And when I saw the sign and I thought, 'oh my God, that's that lost dog,'" Martin said.

Turns out, Wilderville residents had been seeing the border collie with a patterned collar darting around town since November. Skittish around humans, he wandered through the woods, pilfering cat food.

"Everybody saw him but nobody could get close to him," Martin said.

After the call, McNichols and Davis took last Friday off and drove south to resume the search. More than once, they spotted Leo at a distance but he would flee. Finally, McNichols called Bug's Inc., a pest control company in Grants Pass that uses cages to trap cougars. He and Davis had to return to Portland, but on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Martin helped set the trap for Leo on a neighbor's property.

Finally, on Wednesday night, Martin called McNichols and asked if he wanted to speak with Leo, who sat nearby, scared but wagging his tail. Tempted by dog kibble and a breast of chicken from Albertsons, the dog had walked into the cage.

This morning, McNichols and Davis were reunited with Leo. Shaggy and covered in ticks, he seemed to be the pet the couple had lost.

Before heading home for their home in the Rocky Butte area of Portland, they took Leo to the Wilderville Store to formally introduce residents to the dog who wandered through the area all those months.

Leo the Border Collie poses with friends and family this morning. From left are Nanette Martin, who first spotted Leo; Marisa Davis (holding Leo) and Jason McNichols, Leo's owners; and two workers from Bugs Inc., which provided the trap that captured Leo: Ricky Downes and David Mays.

"It's such a happy ending," a giddy Martin said this afternoon. McNichols agreed.

"Nine months later, and he's fine," he said, after taking the dog to a Eugene vet for a check-up. "All muscle. He only lost three pounds in the whole ordeal. We can't wait to get him home."


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Using Reverse Number Search

You know, I find stories from everywhere. I think this one is an attempt to promote reverse lookup services! But hey, who cares if it's a happy ending story, and especially if there's anything to learn from the story. It does seem like a pretty good idea to learn about how to do what's described here. I left the part at the end that looks really promotional for anyone that wants to check out the links. I'm going to do that myself later.

How a Number Reverse Search Engine Helped a Family Reunite With Its Missing Dog
Richard Ducharne, a freelance writer who's published many articles about technology
Posted: May 6th, 2009

In so many cases, we hear about the benefits of using a number reverse search engine to find a cheating spouse or to combat harassing phone calls. While those cases show that the service can be useful, they don't illustrate the happy stories that can also result from the services. The story below shows a different side of the uses for these search services.

A family had adopted a dog from a local humane society. The dog was a present for the 8 year old daughter who had been excited about getting a pet for a long time. The family was responsible enough to have the dog micro-chipped. This means a tiny chip was implanted in the dog's back. The chip contained a number that would connect the person who found the dog to a database containing the family's contact information.

Several years passed and the family had moved but did not update the information with the micro-chip company. Then the dog went missing. The dog dug its way out under the fence and took off around the neighborhood then disappeared. The family was desperate and distraught.

What they didn't know was the person who found the dog immediately brought it to the local shelter to be checked for the micro-chip. But when the person was given the contact information, it was out-of-date.

Luckily, she knew how to perform a reverse search through one of the for-fee sites. The outdated number allowed her to find their newer number so she could call them and help them reunite with their dog. Everyone ended up happy.

To perform a reverse cell phone search, please visit Simple Reverse Lookup at

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Raven & Touro, a black lab & a rat terrier

Remember Katrina? Of course you do. SO many stories came out of that tragic event. This is just one of them. So many, many reunions happened because of online websites such as Too bad so few of those happen now in the real world, so to speak. Enjoy the story.

A heavenly reunion in the wake of disaster
By Dirk Johnson for WebVet

Chased from their homes, people fleeing disaster often face quick decisions about what to do with their pets. Choices that seem spur-of-the-moment can have long-lasting consequences.

As this season’s storms approach, people might consider the story of the Guiden family. It is a tale of good-intentions, honest mistakes and, ultimately, the triumph of reunion – a happy ending made possible, as Kathy Guiden tells it, by the grace of an angel.

When the storm hit

Kathy and Mike Guiden and their 16-year-old son, Jacob, fled their home in New Orleans three days after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Thinking they wouldn’t be gone long, they left behind their dogs, Raven, a black Labrador, and Touro, a rat terrier. They had arranged for a neighbor to check on them.

“It seemed like a good decision at the time,” Kathy said. “It wasn’t.”

The Guidens wound up with relatives in Indiana, a stay that stretched from days to weeks to months. The dogs, meanwhile, were taken into custody by animal control authorities, who checked the Guiden’s home at a time when the friend wasn’t around. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but the dogs ended up being taken to a holding facility in La Place, La.

“When we found out, I was hysterical,” Kathy said. “I felt so guilty. We should have made arrangements to take them somewhere. But we weren’t prepared.”

The long drive home

Anxious to rescue the dogs, Jacob, not yet a junior at Holy Cross High School, drove all the way back to Louisiana from Indiana to find them. He found only the black lab, but not the terrier. As it turned out, there was a problem with the black lab he brought home. It was the wrong dog.

When Mike and Kathy returned to New Orleans, it didn’t take long around the lab to discover that it wasn’t Raven. “We had a very embarrassed son,” said Kathy, “not to mention somewhat panicked because he knew somebody else was missing their dog.”

Through an Internet search on, a family friend found pictures of Raven and Touro. When she saw the picture, Kathy exulted, “Those are my babies!”

By then, the dogs had been given away. They were living in Ohio with a young man named Brian Strunk. He had fallen in love with the dogs. He called the lab “Big Girl” and the terrier “Little Girl.”

The reunion

Brian, reached on the telephone by the Guidens, was happy for the family, but confessed to being a bit sad, too, since he had come to cherish the dogs. The Guidens offered to pay for the dogs to be flown home, but Brian would do better than that. He offered to drive them all the way home.

When Brian arrived, there were plenty of tears of joy in the Guiden home. The dogs were thrilled to be home, of course. The family was so grateful to the 28-year-old man. It seemed like a miracle – in more ways than one.

Some 28 years earlier, Kathy had lost a baby boy. His name was Brian, too. Now this young man – the same name, the same age as their lost boy – had come into their lives to heal them during a time of deep struggle. He was even born on the 11th day of the month, just like the lost Brian.

“He is the most wonderful young man,” said Kathy, the tears starting to well. “It seems like an angel had been sent to us.” Maybe it’s no miracle, but just a coincidence. Call it what you may. But every Christmas, the Guidens and Brian share gifts, and give thanks.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Bubba, a cocker spaniel

For those who give back to the community by helping people find their missing pets, keep this in mind: no matter how long you spend helping people find their missing pets, you never stop learning new lessons. Enjoy the story.

Bubba had been missing for a week when his dad mentioned to a neighbor that his dog had disappeared.

The neighbor, Kat Albrecht, offered to help by making Lost Dog signs for him to post in the area. She was familiar with the neighbor’s dog, who is a black cocker spaniel.

She spent about 10 minutes making up the signs, and was preparing to deliver them when she decided to check Craigslist. She checked all the way back and saw that one week earlier, someone from a nearby business (a Baptist church) posted that they had found a "very friendly dog" and "please call - he misses you!" Because the church was less than 1/3 mile from the neighbor’s home, which is where Bubba disappeared from, she figured it was the neighbor's dog.

So she called the number and described her neighbor's dog as she remembered seeing him, which means she described him as shaggy. In the conversation she had had with the neighbor, they hadn’t discussed the fact that the dog had recently been shaved.

The person from the church said it sounded like the dog, except that the dog they’d found was not "a very shaggy dog."

When Kat later talked to the neighbor and mentioned that she had described his dog as "shaggy" he said, "OH…we had just shaved him!"

Kat is a very experienced pet detective, having helped many, many people find their missing pets. But she still takes lessons from cases she works. Since she and the neighbor had essentially begun by simply chatting outside in the neighborhood, she didn’t ask the questions that she would normally ask someone that has called or emailed her for help. She didn’t find out what he’d done up to that point to look for Bubba (and he must not have checked Craigslist), and she didn’t ask for a description of the dog.

So there went some printer ink and paper down the drain, and not to mention about 10 minutes of her life that she'll never get back! ;)

But hey, Bubba came back home, and that’s what counts.

Kat Albrecht is founder of the Missing Pet Partnership (file://

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blue, Australian Cattle Dog

The author of this story did something very unusual -- she put a good bit of effort into working to find the owner of a wandering dog she'd encountered. If more people could foster dogs they find, and look for their owners, there would be so many more reunions than we see now. Enjoy the story.

Finding Old Dog's Lost Owner A Test Of Persistence
By KRISTEN LEVINE, Tribune correspondent
Published: November 18, 2008

Thu Hunter reunited with her dog, Blue. Kristen Levine found Blue wandering in her neighborhood, named him Henry and then set about looking for his owner.

As the nation prepares to give thanks this week, I add my own blessing to the list: Henry is home.

Henry — that's what we dubbed him — is a pudgy, 12-year-old Australian cattle dog I found wandering the streets of our neighborhood last month. The poor old guy appeared to be blind and deaf, and was not wearing a collar.

I figured I could get Henry home — either back to his or to a new one — in no time. I'm a seasoned pet professional, after all, with lots of contacts. No problem.

Problem! Lots of them.

But this story has a happy ending, and the take-home lost-and-found lesson is: Never give up.

When I found my sweet, elderly friend, I brought him home and started the "found dog" process I remembered well from my days working at the SPCA Tampa Bay. Within 30 minutes, I'd posted flyers throughout the neighborhood with his photo, description and where I found him, along with two cell phone numbers.

Day 2: To cover all the bases, I called all animal shelters within a 50-mile radius. I got annoying automated phone trees that had me chasing my tail, and more than one "voicemail-full." I turned to e-mailing the shelters. This approach generated responses within an hour from all but one shelter.

Faith restored, I filed found reports with each animal shelter via e-mail.

That night, we put our dear departed Zeke's old collar, with I.D. tags, on Henry, just in case he wandered off.

Day 3: Flyers hung and reports filed across the Bay area, we waited for the phone to ring.

Caring for Henry was a lot of work. He can't see, so we had to leash him and lead him out the back door whenever he needed a potty break. He couldn't be left alone because of all the blind-dog dangers about. Twice he tumbled down the back stairs when I took my eyes off him momentarily.

Day 4: No calls yet. We took Henry to the veterinarian to see if he had a microchip ID. None found. But while there, Henry had a physical, rabies shot, and treatment for minor ear and eye infections. We paid the bill, but not before parading Henry through the entire animal hospital at Hidden Oaks to see if any of the staff members recognized him. No one did.

Day 5: My cell phone rang during dinner. It was a desperate gentleman who'd lost a dog! But he was missing a 10-pound Pekinese, not a 50-pound cattle dog.

That night, Paul and I talked about the possibility that no one was looking for Henry.

We live in a quiet, rural neighborhood where unwanted pets often are abandoned. But it's such a difficult notion to grasp, how anyone could dump a sweet old companion, unable to see or hear.

Day 6: Henry definitely can't see a thing. He walked straight into the pool while looking for a place to chew a biscuit. Comically, he resurfaced, swam to the exit and walked out, never dropping his bone.

Later, I printed 10 more flyers and hung them in a broader radius about the neighborhood.

Day 7: Buck and Tank, our dog and cat, seemed to have accepted this long-term visitor. And Henry was learning to maneuver around the house without bumping into things.

Day 8: We called Connie Brooks at the SPCA Tampa Bay to ask a silly question. Would an Aussie breed rescue group take this guy into foster care? It was possible, she said, but we should consider bringing him to the SPCA because she had had previous successes finding homes for blind, deaf dogs.

Henry had grown used to sleeping on the comfy carpet in the guest room, and I couldn't justify making him wait for the right person to come along in a shelter environment. He'd probably be happier waiting here at our house.

Day 9: Liz from the Humane Society Pinellas called me to see whether we had found Henry's family. She promised to keep the report open.

Day 10-11: Paul and I discussed our options. We could take Henry to the SPCA, or we could keep him with us — maybe for the rest of his life. It's a struggle caring for a senior dog with health problems. We know because we've been doing it for our 13-year-old Lab mix, Buck. Could we handle another old, needy dog?

Day 12: A miracle! Driving home, Paul spotted a family standing outside their minivan, reading one of our Henry flyers. The family's elderly neighbor had asked their help in finding her lost dog, Blue.

After a thorough inquisition, Paul determined Henry was, indeed, Blue.

They took Blue home, just one street over. His owner called us to thank us and tell us Blue was a gift from her now-deceased husband. She was delighted to have him back home.

Earlier that day I had made a shopping list, which included buying Henry his own collar. I still plan to buy one and take it over to him.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bee-Bee, a small golden mix

People don't get this lucky! The chances of ever seeing another story like this are slim and none. Enjoy the story.

Lost dog, owner reunited by chance at Johnson City PetSmart
By NET News Service
Published May 15th, 2009

This dog tale could easily be the script of a Disney movie, complete with a heartwarming reunion and wholesome life lesson at the end.

Jeanette Wood thought her dog, Bee-Bee, was gone forever.

“I got her about 14 years ago, and she is my girl,” Wood said. “It was late January or early February — I got up one morning and let her out and went to make a pot of coffee. Next thing I knew she was gone. Someone had taken her.”

To make matters worse, Bee-Bee had gone missing right before Jeanette moved from Kingsport to Johnson City. Despite every effort to locate the family pet and longtime companion, Jeanette had to move on. Bee-Bee was seemingly gone, but in reality, it was way too early to write the little critter off.

“I called the animal shelter every day, gave them my information, but they didn’t have her. I basically gave her up for dead because she’s so old,” Wood said. “She’s 16, and since she got lost in February I thought she probably froze to death. There was just no way she could have survived that weather.”

That’s when fate intervened by way of a program run by the Kingsport Animal Shelter.

“We send animals to PetSmart every Saturday — a van load — to the one in Johnson City to try and find them homes,” Shelter Assistant Manager Donna Davidson said. “It’s a really great program. It really helps the animals tremendously to find homes.”

Last Saturday, the stars must have been in just the right alignment. As the day began, Wood thought it was just another day at work. She went about her normal routine getting settled into her shift at PetSmart until, like magic, something unbelievable happened.

“I had just gotten there to work as a cashier and rung one person up when I saw Stephanie, one of the volunteers from the animal shelter, walk in with her. I was in shock for a minute, but there she was,” Wood said. “Of course I started crying, and I ran and grabbed my dog, and they let me have her.

“She was so relieved she just went limp. I just held her and wouldn’t let her go the whole time until I walked out the door.”

Wood offered a special thanks to her boss for letting her go home right away due to the unbelievable turn of events and tearful reunion.

“It was a great story and a wonderful homecoming,” Davidson said. “It just thrilled us all that the little dog got to go back home. Even if they are 16 years old, we do everything we can to find them a home.”

And just like in the movies, there is a moral to this story to go along with the happy ending.

This one case turned out well, but there are countless other pets that are never found by their owners. According to shelter workers, one of the best things to do is keep checking shelters in the surrounding area where your pet was lost.

“It just goes to show that when people lose an animal, they really need to call the shelters first, even if it has just been a day because you never know,” Davidson said. “These people had lived here and had just moved to Johnson City. So these were very unusual circumstances that they found their dog.”

Wood had one other bit of advice for dog owners whose pets get to enjoy the outdoors.

“Put an identification tag on your pet,” Wood said. “She didn’t have a tag on her when I let her out. She didn’t have a collar. So I made sure to get a tag with her name and the phone numbers where I can be reached if anything should happen again.”

Bee-Bee is now relaxing at home with her family and, according to her owners, seems to be in better health for her age than when she disappeared.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Dancer/Fern, a terrier mix

This story shows that with microchipping, a reunion with a lost pet is possible even after most of the pet's life has probably passed by. Who knows if the person that took this dog in when he first ran away ever tried to find the dog's owner or get him scanned for a microchip. But when he -- apparently -- ran away this time, the recent finder did so. Enjoy the story.

Dog reunited with family after 8 years
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas -- When an energetic little pup named Dancer ran away from her South Austin home eight years ago, she left the Murphy family devastated.

Alison Murphy made calls and put out fliers. She even offered a $500 reward for the terrier mix, but Dancer -- who was wearing two ID tags -- was nowhere to be found. That is, until last week, when Murphy got a surprise call from the Humane Society in New Braunfels.

"They said, 'Do you recall a little white dog?' I said, 'Dancer?' and she's like, 'You remember?'"

And now, Dancer (who no longer recognizes her name and instead responds to the name "Fern") is back home -- eight years after running away.

"This like this just don't really happen," Murphy said. "It's just kind of weird."

A musician in New Braunfels found the dog running around his neighborhood and took her home last week. He kept her a few days, and then went to the Humane Society to see if the dog had a microchip, and perhaps, an owner. She had both, though she hadn't seen her owners in eight years.

"She looks the same," Murphy said. "She's just a little more gray."

How the dog spent the last eight years is a mystery, but she's in good physical shape so Murphy doesn't think Dancer/Fern was a stray.

"Her teeth are in great shape," she said. "She just doesn't look like she's been on the streets for 11 years. Somebody's been taking care of her." The dog isn't malnourished and didn't have fleas, which Murphy takes as further evidence someone was caring for the dog.

She says she's taking Dancer/Fern to obedience school as soon as possible.

Murphy said the dog bolted out the door of a pet store, where she stopped to buy a new collar and leash on the way from being reunited. It took an hour and more than a dozen good Samaritans to re-capture the frightened dog.

"It's just wonderful to have her back," Murphy said. "She's older now and she's a little more mellow than she was, of course, as a younger dog, but she still likes to go for walks first thing in the morning. And she likes to cuddle at night. She's still the same old girl."

Murphy says she's always believed in putting a microchip in her pets, and now is even more convinced how useful the chips can be.

She's even had a microchip put in her pet ferret, just in case.


Little Girl, an English Bulldog

Have you ever been outside somewhere with your dog, and someone comes up and admires your dog, wanting to pet it? Can you imagine someone doing that and then grabbing your dog and running off, then jumping into a waiting car and driving away? That was the horror that began this story. It's not really known for sure what caused the dog to be returned, but since the woman got the story on the local TV news. I'm a proponent of trying to get publicity that way, so my guess is that could easily, easily have been the motiviation to return the dog. Enjoy the story.

Tempe PD: Stolen prize pup returned, reunited with owner
Reported by: Lori Jane Gliha, Brian Webb
Last Update: 3/24 11:19 am

A prized puppy stolen from Tempe over the weekend while her owners watched helplessly was returned home on Monday morning.

At just fifteen weeks old, Trisha Veloz' purebred English Bulldog, Little Girl, was taken from the lawn of the Motel 6 in Tempe near Scottsdale and Curry roads. The prematurely born pooch is the offspring of one of the top English Bulldogs in the country.

Police said the dog was returned in a blue plastic tote bag to the hotel early Monday. The pooch was then reunited with her owner at the Tempe Police Apache Substation.

"It's the best thing that could happen to me," said owner Trisha Veloz. "I'm just going to take her home and love her. She'll probably be sick of me by the end of the day." Police don't know where the dog was the entire time, but consider the case closed.

"The act was so unbelievably brazen," said Mary Aiken, a dog owner, who was present during the theft.

"It happened in the flash of an instant," said Aiken. Aiken owns the puppies' purebred English Bulldog father, known as "Champion Silverspoon Nothing Personal" or "Cooper". Aiken and Veloz said the dogs were playing in a pen outside Aiken's Tempe motel near Hancock and Scottsdale Road when a man approached the pen to look at the dogs. He just came up and said, "'Oh cute puppy,'" said Veloz, describing the moment before the man grabbed the dog.

"This man walked up kind of spontaneously, reached down, grabbed the puppy and ran off to the side where there was a light-colored Avalanche (vehicle)," she said. Veloz said she wrote down the license plate number, but according to Tempe police, the number didn't match the light-colored (silver or champagne-colored) vehicle on which it was placed. Tempe police told ABC15 that could mean Veloz obtained wrong numbers or the license plate or the vehicle could be stolen.

"If the person who took this dog has any shred of decency left, please consider what you've done, and give this puppy back to its owner," Aiken said, admitting the person who took the dog may have taken the animal for monetary reasons.

She added, "For us, the financial part of the puppy's worth is not what is so important. This puppy is loved by all of us."

"I just want her back safely," said Veloz, fighting back tears. "That's the most important thing to me is to have her back safely, and that's it."

"Please, no questions asked, just take her somewhere safe," she said. "Bring her back home to me."

Aiken was in town for the 7th Annual AKC Fiesta Cluster Dog Show.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teddy, a Norfolk Terrier

I'm a huge believer that lost dogs should have their own websites -- an easy to maintain blog is a fine way to do this. There's SO much you can do with one that's needed. I can't imagine not doing this if I lost my dog. Also in this story we have a dog warden that actually did a little sleuthing to try to find the owner of a dog taken in by the shelter. That's unusual! Enjoy the story.

Dog-owner who launched global hunt is reunited with her terrier after 17 months
By Nicole Martin
Last Updated: 12:52AM BST 02 Apr 2004

A dog-lover who sparked an international search for her missing pet through the internet has been reunited with the Norfolk terrier 17 months after he disappeared.

Julia Faulkes was heartbroken when Teddy, whom she described as "a little bit of a child substitute", disappeared during a walk near her Wiltshire home in August 2002.

She and her boyfriend went to extraordinary lengths to find him, putting up posters, placing leaflets in local newspapers and alerting every police force in the country.

As a last resort, she turned to the internet and set up a website - - that featured pictures and video footage of the 18-month-old dog and offered a £1,000 reward for clues to his disappearance.

Within weeks, the site was receiving dozens of "hits" a day, from dog wardens, Norfolk terrier owners and even canine-lovers in America.

Miss Faulkes's perseverance eventually paid off in January when, during a skiing holiday in France, she received a call from her mother to say that Teddy had been located in a kennel for strays in Bristol, about 20 miles away.

The dog warden who had found the animal realised that it was Teddy after speaking to other Norfolk terrier owners who alerted her to the website.

Miss Faulkes, 44, caught a flight home at 6.30am the following day and rushed from the airport to the kennel.

Speaking yesterday from her home in the village of Grittleton, Wilts, she recalled the moment that she and Teddy were reunited.

"He recognised me instantly and was shaking all over," she said. "Much to our great relief, he had been well looked after and looked extremely fit and well.

"He had a deep cut on his paw, which was badly infected and itchy. He had fleas and worms but there was nothing ghastly wrong."

She added: "Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought Teddy was gone for good. We worried that somebody had got him and that he was living in unpleasant circumstances, so when I got the call, I couldn't believe it was true."

Despite the long separation, she said Teddy had settled in well back at home. "He has always been sparky with a lot to say for himself, but he seems a little bit more grown up," she said.

With thefts of pedigree dogs growing, Miss Faulkes said she was convinced that Teddy had been stolen for breeding purposes. She has since fitted him with a microchip and urged other dog owners to do the same.

"We were very unlucky to lose Teddy the way we did, but very lucky to get him back," she said. "It is a cliche, but our story shows you should never give up hope because miracles do happen."


Monday, May 11, 2009

Bugzy, a Rottweiler/Shepherd Mix

Virtual tracking -- searching missing pet and found pet internet postings for matches -- is so boring and tedious that most people just don't do it (if they even have an idea how). But it could probably help a heck of a lot more lost dogs and cats come home if people did do it. It's what brought this dog home. Enjoy the story.

by Conor Greene
Thursday, July 24, 2008
A Bronx family whose dog went missing missing in early June had nearly lost hope–until a pet lover and dog rescuer from Middle Village located the pooch in a shelter 200 miles away.

Bugzy, a mixed Rottweiler, was separated from her owner, Theresa Mollica, in the Bronx on June 8. Witnesses reported seeing a woman drive away with him in a red van with Pennsylvania license plates, according to Phyllis Taiano, a local dog rescuer who eventually helped locate Bugzy using the Internet.
Bugzy, with dad John, and Phyllis Taiano, who searched the web for the lost dog until she found her

After the dog went missing, the Mollicas flooded the web with postings explaining how important a part of their family 14 year-old Bugzy is, especially to Theresa’s terminally ill husband. For weeks Taiano searched websites listing lost dogs taken to shelters and had no luck until last week. The break came when she searched under German Shepherds instead of Rottweilers.

“I’m checking all the local shelters, and as you go down the page they get further away,” she said. “I get to the second page, and read about a dog that came to a shelter with out of state tags named Bugzy,” she said. When she saw that the shelter doesn’t assign names to incoming dogs, Taiano knew she had found the Mollica’s dog in Rhode Island, 200 miles from home. She called her friend, Cathy Schnurr, who knows the Mollicas and confirmed that it was definitely Bugsy.

Taiano called the shelter, located in Pawtuckett, and spoke with manager John Holmes. They found out that the shelter had picked Buzgy up on June 9 after receiving a call from a woman about a stray dog in her development. It was later reported that a woman matching the description of the woman seen driving away with Bugzy in the Bronx was seen in the immediate vicinity in Pawtuckett. The discovery ended a nearly two-month stay in the Pawtuckett shelter and setup a reunion captured on local television news cameras.

“I was kind of losing hope, but now I’m so happy,” a jubilated Theresa Mollica told ABC-6 television in Pawtuckett. “I would never even have thought of [looking in] Rhode Island, or how to go about finding him.”

Holmes told the station that the “dog was sick at the time,” but was taken care of and added to the website.

“His photo was then picked up by someone in New York.” The successful search aided with the website, where Holmes posted the photo and description of Bugzy that Taiano found.

“We have an amazing [online] network, with more than 100 people in it from New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, the west, south,” said Taiano. “When dog goes missing, we all network among each other.”

Taiano isn’t sure if the woman stole Bugzy of took him with the intention of keeping him, but said she shouldn’t have just abandoned him.

“We have the feeling that she dumped him because he has a stomach issue and takes medicine every day,” she said. “She probably didn’t have the money to take care of him, and instead of bringing him back, she just let him go.”

Helping to reunite the lost dog with its family is "awesome, a good feeling,” she said. “If you love animals, you understand how it bad it feels to lose one. Then, to be reunited when you never thought it would happen. Most people hold on to [lost dogs] and aren’t always trustworthy.”

“This is one of the best days of my life,” said Mollica.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Daisy, a Rat Terrier

Understandably, when a person's dog "runs off", they concentrate their search efforts locally. No one expects their lost dog to turn up a thousand miles away. Even when the many national missing pet posting websites are used, making it possible to make the necessary connections even in cases where several states separate a lost dog and his humans, we're not normally thinking that it will really end up that the dog will be found accross the country. But this story should be a reminder that it actually can happen. That may not make it practical to spend a lot of time looking in faraway places for a dog. But it sure does make a case for tags and microchips.

Daisy's Great Odyssey: Pooch Travels from Denver to Knoxville
Jan 3, 2007

Reporter: Stacy McCloud
Knoxville (WVLT) - A woman more than a thousand miles away from East Tennessee is reunited with her dog that has been missing for 8 months, but there is a catch. Don't ask us how it happened, but the dog made its way here to Knoxville.

"How she got here we have no idea," says Beth Finamore-Neff, from Young-Williams Animal Shelter. It's been a long 8 months for this rat terrier named Daisy. Too bad she can't really speak, because she sure would have quite a story to tell.

"This isn't even her original collar. From what the owner tells us, the tag has been moved onto a different collar," says Beth.

We know that daisy's adventure began April 11th when she made a great escape from her back yard. What we don't know is how month's later she ended up in Tracie Crass's front yard.

"We saw a little dog walk down the sidewalk and we just started petting and talking to her," says Tracie. Since daisy had a phone number on her rabies tags, the Crasses decided to keep Daisy until they located her owners.

Vonda Ludstrom was elated to hear her dog had finally been found. But it's each others location that caught everyone a little off guard.

"It's a total mystery. We just hope whoever had her loved her," Vonda says.

Somehow, Daisy made a 1,300 mile journey from Denver Colorado, to Knoxville, Tennessee.

"How did my dog get to Tennessee?" Lundstrom says your guess is as good as hers, considering they have never visited the Volunteer State. But the important thing now, is that this missing dog case is closed.

A simple phone call shares the good news.

"Vonda, hey it's Beth! Daisy is at the airport you all are going to be back together this afternoon"

"I can't wait to see her I'm so excited she's coming home," Vonda says. Daisy's mom says she would have driven to Tennessee the night they got the good news, but the big Colorado snow storm kept them from leaving the state.


Another version of the story, at

Daisy the lost terrier shows up 1,300 miles from home
05 January 2007

Daisy enjoys an emotional reunion with her owner

Seven months after disappearing from her yard in the western state of Colorado, a rat terrier named Daisy turned up in Knoxville, Tennessee, some 1,300 miles away. Thanks to the efforts of Tracie Crass, who found two-year-old Daisy wandering outside her home in the southern city of Knoxville, the terrier got an plane ride home.

Crass spotted Daisy on Christmas night and assumed the 5.4 kilo dog had slipped out of its home during holiday festivities. She took the pooch onto her porch and waited for its owner to come looking for it. When no one showed up by the next day, Crass telephoned the number on Daisy's rabies inoculation tag. She reached Daisy's veterinarian, who contacted Daisy's owner - Vonda Lundstrom of Aurora, Colorado.

"The kindness of people gives you a reason to believe," Lundstrom said. "It's the best Christmas present."

A cell phone photograph of Daisy sent to Crass confirmed it was the same little dog that dug a hole under the fence at Lundstrom's home in April and disappeared.

With help from Knoxville's Young-Williams Animal Center, Daisy flew home on Wednesday. The reunion at Denver International Airport was memorable. "She licked me. She loved on me," Lundstrom said. "I have my baby back, that's for sure."

Lundstrom has no ties to Knoxville and she assumed somebody had stolen Daisy. She said she has since filled in the hole under her fence.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to see that it doesn't happen again," she said.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tasha, a Schnauzer

For weeks I kept an eye, via Craigslist, on the search for a sweet little lost dog in my area, unable to help but wishing I could. I'm happy, though frankly also surprised, to be able to tell her story on my blog -- since she was recovered after about six weeks.

My local Craigslist – the Lost & Found and the Pets sections – has been carrying several postings a week from the mom of a lost schnauzer named Tasha.

Tasha’s mom takes a lot of care in posting so often, changing the subject line, the photos included and the wording of the ads so that no two are alike. If you saved every ad or remembered everything you learned from them all, you might eventually have collected a lot of details of whatever happened that she went missing. As I recall, something spooked her enough to run off, and that was it. She was gone, and has been gone since then. And her mom never stopped renewing the word she was putting out on Craigslist.

When I saw the first few postings, I did what I normally do, which is resist the temptation to reach out to the lost dog’s mom. I know that folks who post their lost pets on Craigslist get plenty of email. It’s obvious when they post that they found their lost pet that lots of people were writing to offer encouragement and advice. I figure it takes up so much time that it’s a serious challenge, so I don’t add to it.

I also don’t offer to help, which I always want to do, because I’ve learned that pretty often, people posting to Craigslist want to spread the word, but they don’t accept offers of help. And that was true in Tasha’s mom’s case, which I found out because I did eventually reach out to her. She didn’t want to impose – never mind that I’d offered, and that I tried to assure her that I would not spend time I didn’t have on it. Other than saying that and also that she was going to give up the search because it was so hard on the family, she didn’t really clarify why she would not let me help. It was very sad, but I’ve seen the response before, both from my offers to help and also others who have offered to help Craigslist posters. So I retreated after a few emails. And I continued to see Tasha postings on Craigslist despite her saying it was too hard to continue.

I also would see Tasha’s postings on other lost and missing pet websites. I know that the family tried FindToto robo calls, some fliering, check daily, and they considered a tracking dog but ultimately rejected that idea. I thought it was an OK effort overall, but not great and not what it needed to be. Tasha was, from what her mom had described to me, just a little spooked, not enveloped in mortal terror. She was a well adjusted pampered pet, had lived with the family in that home forever, had never fended for herself before, and her grooming level was such that anyone who found her when she was maybe scooting through the neighborhood couldn’t possibly have mistaken her for a dumped dog. I felt that a media blitz was needed to flush the dog out of whatever home she was in. But I’m pretty certain that the family never went that route. I thought that was sad, too.

Imagine how tickled I was to sign on to Craigslist today to find that I missed a posting from 2 days ago – Tasha made her way back home! My guess (and Tasha’s mom’s guess too) is that she was in a nearby home the whole time (six weeks?). She probably could have found her way home any time, but was confined and unable to do so until she somehow managed to get out. It’s easy to believe that whoever was keeping her was doing so intentionally when they could have returned, and that’s probably the case . . . but then they may also have been oblivious, and innocent. Anyway, now, today, Tasha and her family don’t care. She’s home where she belongs. It will most likely never be known where she was or just what went down, but she got back home and on her own. Here’s how her mom told the story:

So, this morning, lying in bed (windows were open) I hear a familiar howl/barking and sure enough... Tasha found her way home to us at 6 a.m. this morning. Needless to say it was a very happy, surreal reunion. She had put on some weight and the collar was on, but tags had been removed... so I think she was waiting to make her "get-a-way" to find her way back to us... this is the first sunny, nice day in awhile and she was waiting for the right time to "escape" from whoever was keeping her and find her way home. It's truly a miracle and the best Mother's Day Gift anybody could ask for! Thanks to all of you who have put up with my non-stop postings about finding our missing Tasha... look no more... she is HOME!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jake, a pit mix

Dog lost in Arizona to be reunited with owner in Arkansas
Deborah Stocks, Eric English
4/23 6:35 pm

Jake is ready to return home to Arkansas (Dawn Gonzalez)

An Arkansas man will soon be reunited with his 'best friend' after they were separated on a trip through northern Arizona recently.

"I was elated to the point of tears to learn I was getting "Jake" back," he told ABC15 by phone Thursday. He recalled the painful search.

"I searched for him for about two hours," Bolgrein said. "Little did I know he ran into a K-Mart." Unable to find the dog, he reluctantly resumed his trip east.

"Jake" was about to be euthanized when no one would adopt him. He was scanned for a microchip, and one was found with his owner's information.

"I thought I would never see "Jake" again, which was just awful because he is a great dog and a good traveler."

The Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott is now getting "Jake" ready for his trip home. They are planning to fly him out of Phoenix very soon as the window of opportunity to fly pets out of Sky Harbor Airport closes as temperatures rise.

Duane Adams of the Yavapai Humane Society says this story reinforces that pit bulls can be wonderful companions who are cherished by their families. He says it's also so nice to hear about a pet "going home" at a time when, because of the economy, so many pets are being abandoned or relinquished to shelters.

"For us to be part of reuniting him with his owner would be just huge," Adams said.

But they could use help. If you can help with either the transport or a donation toward "Jake's" flight, click on the Yavapai Humane Society website.


Good news! The needed donor was found. See the follow up article . . .

Women reunite lost dog, owner
Friday, 01 May 2009

An Arkansas man who lost his dog in Arizona was reunited with his pet this week thanks to the compassion and generosity of two Benton women. Bonnie Nicely, who operates Helping Hands and Caring Hearts in Benton, and her sister, Janet Wilson, paid to have Jake, a pit bull terrier, flown to Little Rock to be able to go home with his owner, Cleve Bolgrien of Booneville.

Bolgrien had lost the dog about three weeks ago in Phoenix. While he was putting gas in his truck at a service station, Jake jumped out a window and ran from the area. Bolgrien tried to locate Jake, but failed. Heartsick, he left the city and returned to Arkansas.

Jake ended up at an animal control facility where he was about to be euthanized when animal rescue workers found him and saved him. When a volunteer from the Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott examined Jake, a microchip was found in the dog and that provided all the information needed to locate his family.

This information was included in a television account seen by Wilson and Nicely. In the account, it was reported that Bolgrien could not afford to pay for Jake’s flight to Little Rock.

That caught Nicely’s attention.

“We help people all the time by selling items for $1 each at this thrift store, and we decided this was something we needed to do,” Nicely said.This incident was one in which their assistance provided help for the dog as well as his owner. The two women were present at Little Rock National Airport when Jake arrived Monday night for the reunion of Bolgrien and his “best friend.”

Losing his canine friend was a painful experience, Bolgrien, 70, told Nicely and Wilson. He expressed gratitude to the women for making it possible to have his best friend again. He said he was thrilled when he found out someone was helping him get his dog back.

“I was elated to the point of tears to learn I was getting Jake back,” he told television reporters.

“This has restored my faith in mankind,” Bolgrien told Nicely. He recalled the painful search for Jake.

“I searched for him for about two hours,” Bolgrien said. “Little did I know he ran into a K-Mart.” Unable to find the dog, he reluctantly resumed his trip east.

“I thought I would never see Jake again, which was just awful because he is a great dog and a good traveler,” Bolgrien said.

The Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott prepared Jake for his trip home. Duane Adams of the Yavapai Humane Society said Jake’s story reinforces that pit bulls can be wonderful companions who are cherished by their families. He says it also was rewarding to know that a pet was going home at a time when, because of the lagging economy, many pets are being abandoned or relinquished to shelters.

“For us to be part of reuniting him with his owner is just huge,” Adams said. The society’s Web site and telephone number were posted for donations. Though Bolgrien could not afford to pay for Jake’s flight, Nicely said he told her he planned to make a donation to the Helping Hands ministry, which helps raise money for people in need.

The 70-year-old man, Cleve Bolgrein, was thrilled to know that "Jake", a pit bull, is safe and on his way home.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Scoop, a Cocker Spaniel

This is a very unusual case in that this was not just a case of pet theft, but pet robbery. One of the incredible elements of this story is that after this loser tried to gift the dog that he robbed from its owner to his mother, and he was unable to do so, rather than taking the dog back, he tried to give it to someone else. And when that didn't work, he still didn't take the dog back. I just never can get over this no matter how hard I try.

'Pupnap' Punks Did It For Mom
By Cynthia R Fagan, Additional reporting by Leonard Greene
New York Post
February 15, 2007

A tail of intrigue led cops to collar a BB-gun-toting teen dognapper - who then confessed he helped his pal steal a New Jersey couple's beloved cocker spaniel for his cohort's pet-crazed mom, police said.

"His friend wanted to give the dog to his mom because her dog had passed away," Clifton police Lt. Richard Birdneck explained yesterday, a day after the pilfered pooch, Scoop, was reunited with his grateful owners. He said cops were able to nab the suspect and identify the other - who is still at large - by retracing Scoop's oddball odyssey.

Birdneck said the dognapping duo's first attempt to steal a dog failed when they pointed the BB gun - which looked just like a real, deadly weapon - at a 14-year-old boy in Paterson on Friday night. The boy convinced the thugs to take his iPod instead.

The following night, the masked teens struck again. This time, they allegedly held up Joe Castronovo, a newspaper editor, and forced him to hand over Scoop near the Clifton house he shares with wife, Vicky.

Scoop was then renamed Tito, and presented to the mother of the suspect. But "the father didn't want the dog, so they gave the dog to an aunt," said Birdneck. The aunt didn't want the dog, either. She handed off the pooch to a friend - who gave it to an unsuspecting couple, Sener and Lale Batca. They had been looking for a dog for their two young kids. The couple had the dog only for a few hours when a friend called her at work and said there was a lost-and-found poster showing a photo of Scoop - who bore an uncanny resemblance to Tito. There was a reward of $2,000.

"I felt terrible and scared," Lale said. She quickly got the pet to a police station.

As soon as Scoop spotted the Castronovos, "the dog started to go crazy," she said.

"I saw the way those two people hugged and played with that dog. There were tears of joy in their eyes. I don't think dogs are any different than kids," she said.

Yesterday, a relieved Castronovo said, "I just keep pinching myself trying to wake up from what seems to be a bizarre dream." He called the robbery "a life-changing experience" and marveled that he got the dog back "after losing all hope of ever seeing him again."
Sources: The New York Post and 1010 Wins

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Moki, a Siberian Huskey

I think the humane society practice that outraged this lost dog's owner is actually a common practice, but I'm not sure it should be. In this case I'd say it's a shame that they handled it according to procedures because the citizen (dog owner) was outraged, and she took it to the press and found a columnist willing to cover it. So it may well have influenced lots of readers to also find it outrageous, and look unfavorably on that humane society -- never a good thing. But hey, the dog did make its way home. Enjoy the story.

Kerri Ann Flowers with her dogs Wednesday in her Hamilton backyard

Woman forced to adopt her lost dog
By Rick McCrabb Columnist
Friday, June 08, 2007
TRENTON — "Our mission is to promote humane principles, to protect lost, homeless, abandoned and mistreated animals and to act as advocates for the animals in the community." That's the mission of the Animal Friends Humane Society in Trenton.

A Hamilton woman would like to rewrite that mission statement — and after she was done, it couldn't be printed in a family newspaper.

She wants to know why the shelter that claims to protect animals and their owners charged her $100 to adopt her own lost dog, a 2-year-old Siberian husky she had hoped to breed, then neutered the dog before he was returned.

"I've learned to not trust," said Kerri Ann Flowers, 26, of Hamilton. "And that's a sad lesson."

On Thursday, when Flowers' name was mentioned to Leland Gordon, executive director of the shelter, he sighed and said: "I know that lady."

The ordeal for Flowers, her husband, 4-year-old daughter and two huskies began May 14 when they discovered their backyard gate was unlocked and opened. One of their dogs — Moki — was missing and the other — Geronimo — was limping noticeably.

"Something happened to those dogs," she said.

The family frantically searched for Moki. They printed signs. Called the police, sheriff's office and Animal Friends Humane Society.

For the next two weeks, Flowers said she called the humane society, and every day, the answer was the same, "No lady, we don't have your dog."

Finally, on June 4 — three weeks after Moki disappeared — Flowers was told a dog matching his description and photo was located in the shelter. The woman said Moki was found on May 30.

From here, you'd think the story would have a happy ending, right? Lost dog wags tails, licks owner's face, reunites with his backyard running mate and spends the rest of his life sitting in a pickup truck.

Cue the country music.Not so fast. According to state law, since Moki was found wearing no dog license — Flowers said it must have fallen off when the dog was stolen — he became property of the shelter after three days, Gordon said.

When told Moki had a tag that was lost, Gordon said, "We hear that all the time."

Later, he called Flowers "an irresponsible dog owner" because the dog was running loose without his license and he wasn't neutered.

He said cases like Flowers' makes his "blood boil."

Gordon said the shelter had three options, according to state law: put Moki up for adoption, euthanize him or release him to a rescue organization.

When Flowers and her daughter, Caitlin, arrived at the shelter Monday, they identified Moki and were told they could adopt him, but only after he was neutered.

"I got hysterical," Flowers said. "I said, 'This is my dog. This is my dog.'"

On Tuesday morning, Moki was neutered, and several hours later, he was reunited with his owners.

As part of the $100 adoption fee, Moki also received a microchip implanted in his back, updated shots and a dog license, Gordon said.

"At least we have him back," Flowers said. "Let's just say I'll never go back there and they'll never get a cent from me."

Gordon said the blame falls on Flowers because her dog had no license, no microchip, which would have made his identification — and quicker return — much easier.

"We aren't the bad guys here," he said. "The public is the bad guy. We did the right thing."


Monday, May 4, 2009

Emma, trained tracking hound

Karen Maeshiro Staff Writer, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Jan 24, 2006

LAKE LOS ANGELES, Los Angeles  Missing for a week, the 4-year-old trained tracking hound mix wandered into the tent that owner Bob Wells had pitched Saturday in the desert in hopes that his dog would find him.

``I was viewing the area with night-vision goggles. I called her name. A couple of minutes later, she came up and nose-bumped me and laid down in my lap.'' Wells said 55-pound Emma was in good condition, though she had a few bruises and was dehydrated, thinner and very hungry.

Wells, resident sheriff's deputy in Lake Los Angeles, picked an area near 150th Street East and Avenue M to set up camp after spotting the dog about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Wells radioed search volunteers who went to the area but Emma ran away from them. ``She had probably been hunted by coyotes. She was a little bit skittish when people approached her,'' Wells said.

``The idea was to sit out there with food and her blanket, the blanket that smells like her, and wait for her to come to me,'' Wells said.

When Emma wandered into Wells' tent shortly after 8 p.m., he petted her and ``got a leash on her really quick,'' radioed the other searchers and let them know he was bringing in the dog.

Sixty to 70 people helped look for Emma after she disappeared out of her fenced yard the morning of Jan. 14. People looked for her while riding their horses, others on their all- terrain vehicles.

``We had people coming from as far away as Fresno. The search and rescue community is pretty tight,'' Wells said.

About 100 calls came in reporting possible sightings of Emma, and from that information, Wells narrowed the search area first from about 1,000 acres to 300 acres, then to two square miles.

``I'm glad to have her back, and I am really grateful to the people of Lake Los Angeles and their concern and to search and rescue folks who took time out to find Emma,'' Wells said.

Emma has stitches from a stray dog attack and also is blind in one eye and takes glaucoma medicine. Wells speculated the medication she was taking for both conditions may have caused her to become confused and to run away.

Emma herself has searched for more than 50 missing people all around Los Angeles County, ranging from missing children and lost hikers to Alzheimer's patients who wandered away from their homes.

She is not used in criminal searches. Emma is particularly good at picking out the freshest scent trail. Emma's last search was about two months ago in Littlerock, looking for Looking for a runaway boy. The boy was found at a house where he'd gone after hurting himself trying to climb onto a passing freight train.


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